Affirmative action and its DEI doppelganger

Robert Steinbuch
Robert Steinbuch

I've written about the need to end both the institutional racism of quotas, set-asides and preferences--aka affirmative action--as well as the communist conformity curriculum called diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).

Today, I demonstrate that DEI is taxpayer-funded leftist indoctrination used to mainline progressives' pro-affirmative action programming into public employees' veins. Case in point: Central Arkansas Water's DEI propaganda infrastructure's widespread campaign against conservative legislation to end government quotas, set asides and preferences.

The public water authority's DEI saga begins with a staff that "conducted an equity audit ... [to] help in understanding where [the utility] was on its DEI journey." (Is this a Tolkien novel prologue?)

Later, "the decision was made to reimagine the [DEI] team ... The new name is the Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Team. The JEDI Team will work closely with the Special Advisor to [the] CEO on Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Engagement, and the team's facilitator to ensure that JEDI principles are embedded throughout" the utility. (How many times can they cram DEI or its equivalent into that word salad?)

As of now, more than 18 water- works employees are involved in this leftist pro-affirmative action dogma. Check out the DEI (JEDI) Team's recent email instructing employees to oppose current legislation to end quotas, set-asides, and preferences--sponsored by conservative icons Rep. Justin Gonzalez and Sen. Dan Sullivan.

Says the water authority's DEI staff: "If you feel this bill [to end affirmative action] does not meet with your values and the standards we ascribe to, please join JEDI as we flood Representatives with calls and emails, telling them to VOTE NO on SB71!"

What happens if you feel this bill does meet with your values--but not the standards the "we" ascribe to? (Good luck!)

Thereafter, the utility's DEI minders' mendacity manifests. They wrote: "Not only does SB71 promote white supremacy, but it also attacks all currently protected groups including all women, veterans and disabled Arkansans."

Those lies do Emperor Palpatine proud. The most significant slander is that the bill promotes white supremacy. In fact, the legislation does exactly the opposite--banning state-sponsored racism.

But the DEI deacons' demonstrable deception doesn't discontinue there. The bill has nothing to do with veterans or the disabled whatsoever, as well.

But there's more.

After the offending email became public, CEO Tad Bohannon wrote leadership, saying inclusion managers never approved the email before it went out. (How many "inclusion managers" are there?)

But the utility's internal communications demonstrate the duplicity behind this claim. After the offending email was sent out at 11:54 a.m. March 21, inclusion managers complimented it.

Bohannon's email has additional problems. Critically, it doesn't correct the patent falsehoods of, or apologize for, his DEI commissars' hysterical screeds. I trust he'll do so now--publicly. (I'll check back.)

Also, Bohannon wrote that he's unaware who sent the offending email outside the utility. Why should this matter?

The water authority's DEI infrastructure is not the first example of the utility and Bohannon wasting your money. Several years ago, the water authority agreed to pay for Bohannon to obtain an MBA in England (the country). And now, the utility is seeking to double your rates over the next 10 years. Go figure--literally.

Under SB71, government preferences based on pigment and plumbing properly will be prohibited. As Attorney General Tim Griffin said, "This bill will bring our state in line with constitutional principles"--not to mention moral ones.

Arkansas is drowning in DEI dogma and its equally evil twin, affirmative action, despite Arkansans' clear rejection of these conjoined siblings.

Voters are watching to see whether Arkansas can be the conservative beacon on the hill the nation needs. If we cannot eliminate race and gender quotas, set-asides, and preferences right now by passing SB71, we never will--and Arkansas will be forever forgotten in the conservative movement.

This is your right to know.

Robert Steinbuch, professor of law at the Bowen Law School, is a Fulbright Scholar and author of the treatise "The Arkansas Freedom of Information Act." His views do not necessarily reflect those of his employer.

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